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Monday 8th August, 2022

TechExtra

Implementation Of Enterprise Content Management Will Save FG N4.5Bn Annually – NITDA DG

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General of NITDA

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has said that the implementation of the service-wide Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, organized by the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, will result in an annual saving of about N4.5 billion in Nigeria.

This is in addition to accelerating the digitisation and the delivery of content services platforms in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in achieving a digital Nigeria.

Inuwa, who was represented by the Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr. Usman Gambo Abdullahi disclosed this while presenting a paper at the one-day ECM Service-Wide Round Table Workshop on ECM implementation with the topic “The Modalities of Software Clearance on ECM Solution for MDAs” at the Rotunda Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.

While emphasizing the importance of ECM implementation, Inuwa said it is a critical success factor required by any enterprise to survive in this modern and competitive post-Covid-19 world to aid information availability, agile business processes and conformity to governmental regulatory requirements.

He added that ECM addresses the limitations and provides the capabilities to effectively and efficiently manage the challenges imposed by the demanding business requirements of the modern world.

“Constraints such as complexity of massive volumes of variant data and information that exists in a broad array of formats, complex and extended business processes spanning across the business functions and partners around the globe, the need for integration and interoperability, fulfillment of compliance to legal and regulatory requirements are expected to be resolved by the implementation of the ECM.

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“The Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) and other Government establishments are not left out in this pursuit of digital transformation excellence, which is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS 2020-2030) as well as Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP 2021-2025).

“Digitalisation of Government processes facilitates transparency, efficiency, productivity, participation, inclusiveness, cost savings, and competitive advantage, which ultimately translates to social and economic development for a country like Nigeria.

“Therefore, digitalisation of Government processes is no longer a choice, but a must for any country aiming for development. ECM is used to manage information throughout its lifecycle, in line with the Digital Services Development and Promotion Pillar of NDEPS, among others,” Inuwa said.

According to the NITDA boss, some of the benefits of ECM to FPIs include saving employees time for mining information from physical paper documents, reduced cost of file storage and paper needs, and strengthening security by ensuring information confidentiality, integrity, availability, and increasing in regulatory compliance.

He referred to the Federal Government Circular No SGF/6/S.19/T/65 of 18th April, 2006 that directed all Federal Public Institutions planning to embark on any IT project to obtain clearance from NITDA.

He recalled that this directive was reissued on the 31st August, 2018 with Circular Number 59736/S.2/C.II/125, reiterating the need for all FPIs and other Government establishments to relate with and obtain clearance before embarking on any IT project.

He noted that to ensure seamless implementation of this mandate, NITDA issued a Guideline on IT Project Clearance in line with the need for a coordinated, standardized, and orderly approach to the deployment of IT systems by FPIs.

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He disclosed that a total of 258 projects from 97 FPIs amounting to a total investment of N152,043,373,117.25 were cleared, in 2021 and a total of N24,403,266,842.86 was saved for the Government in the same year.

In consideration of the tremendous success of the IT Projects Clearance process, the Federal Executive Council, at its sitting on the 9th March 2022, approved that FPIs must obtain a Quality Assurance Certificate from NITDA for any cleared IT project that is up to N1,000,000,000.00 or more, prior to the closure of the project.

This according to him, is to further strengthen the value realisation of Government investment in Digital Transformation.

“The Head of Civil Service’s ECM project has passed through the NITDA IT Clearance process. The project was granted clearance on the 23rd of February 2022 after satisfactorily meeting all the requirements, including thorough engagement with the technical personnel from the office of the Head of Civil Service as well as the potential Service Provider,” Inuwa noted.

The DG concluded that ECM is the key to the transformation of FPIs into a digital and automated environment where any work process can be created and confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information are guaranteed.

While applauding the initiative by the Head of Service of the Federation in setting the pace for the implementation of ECM, Inuwa called on all FPIs to key into this initiative and submit their ECM projects for Clearance by NITDA.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan elaborated on some of the processes that have been engaged in the implementation of the ECM.

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She stated that her office set up a culture change joint project committee in July 2020 which delivered the solution, reduced the status of ECMs in various Local Government Areas, did a review of the functional and technical requirements of the ECMs platform, developed request for a proposal for the procurement of the service provider, and went ahead to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the office of the Head of the Service and all other LGAs and have also looked at deploying infrastructural support for the effective implementation of ECM.

Yemi-Esan added that a change and communication management team was established to conduct risk management of the ECMs and that 16 MDAs and staff in LGAs and the office of the Head of Service, through the collaboration and support of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy have already be trained.

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CloudFare DDoS Report Shows Q2 of 2022 Witnessed Largest DDoS Attacks Ever

Highlights of the report showed that the war on the ground between Russia and Ukraine continues to be accompanied by attacks targeting the spread of information.

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Photo Credit: Kaspersky

A recent CloudFare DDoS report for 2022, has shown that Q2 of 2022 Q2 witnessed some of the largest attacks the world has ever seen including 26 million requests per second HTTPS DDoS attacks.

These attacks were automatically detected and mitigated by CloudFare, in addition to attacks against Ukraine and Russia continuing, whilst a new Ransom DDoS attack campaign emerged.

Highlights of the report showed that the war on the ground between Russia and Ukraine continues to be accompanied by attacks targeting the spread of information.

Broadcast Media companies in Ukraine were the most targeted in Q2 by DDoS attacks.

On the other hand, in Russia, Online Media dropped as the most attacked industry, replaced by Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) companies.

Almost 45% of all application-layer DDoS attacks targeted the BFSI sector. Cryptocurrency companies in Russia were the second most attacked.

In terms of Ransom attacks, June 2022, saw a peak to the highest of the year Overall in Q2, the per cent of Ransom DDoS attacks increased by 11% QoQ.

In 2022 Q2, application-layer DDoS attacks increased by 72% YoY. Organizations in the US were the most targeted, followed by Cyprus, Hong Kong, and China. Interestingly attacks on organizations in Cyprus increased by 166% QoQ.

The Aviation & Aerospace industry was the most targeted in Q2, followed by the Internet industry, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, and Gaming / Gambling in fourth place.

In 2022 Q2, network-layer DDoS attacks increased by 109% YoY. Attacks of 100 Gbps and larger increased by 8% QoQ, and attacks lasting more than 3 hours increased by 12% QoQ.

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The top attacked industries were Telecommunications, Gaming / Gambling and the Information Technology and Services industry.

Commenting on the report, Bashar Bashaireh, Managing Director, Middle East & Turkey, Cloudflare says, “Cloudflare’s mission is to help build a better Internet. A better Internet is one that is more secure, faster, and reliable for everyone even in the face of DDoS attacks.

“As part of our mission, since 2017, we’ve been providing unmetered and unlimited DDoS protection for free to all of our customers. Over the years, it has become increasingly easier for attackers to launch DDoS attacks.

“But as easy as it has become, we want to make sure that it is even easier and free for organizations of all sizes to protect themselves against DDoS attacks of all types.”

 

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Startup Ecosystem: NITDA DG Engages Key Stakeholders In Lagos

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Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, NITDA DG (sitting third from right) flanked by others at the meeting

Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, has reiterated the Agency’s commitment to giving the startup ecosystem the needed support to boost the sector’s contribution to the economy and strengthen the value chain.

Inuwa made the pledge during a dinner meeting with some key stakeholders of Lagos Ecosystem, including representatives from Microsoft, MasterCard, and Norebase, among others.

While suing for trust, and strengthening the value chain deliberated on the best way to accelerate growth and support startups in the country, he said “there are lots of distrust within the government and the ecosystem, so much that the only way to engender trust between the two entities is to have this conversation.”

The Director-General assured the group of his unrelenting support to the ecosystem which he maintained would be his return base upon retirement from government service, and emphasised the need for collaborations across the board to achieve a faster and more sustainable digital economy.

“We cannot succeed in isolation; we need each other to succeed. Innovation is not distributed evenly across the world. Innovation and the digital economy are about humans”.

“A company is as good as its next product and its products are as good as the person or people who make them. This underscores the relevance of talents. If you don’t have the requisite skills and talents, then it is no deal,” he added.

The NITDA DG seized the opportunity to share his thoughts on different issues bordering on investments, partnerships, commercialisation of innovations, enabling policies and acquisition of relevant skills as well as training.

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“At NITDA, we are reenacting our act and laws to make it more robust so that we protect the ecosystem,” Inuwa stated.

The NITDA boss whose friendly body language gave the forum some sort of a relaxed atmosphere was keen on listening to their opinions and suggestions on how to get the ecosystem to perform much better.

“The sector we are in is dynamic and we must move with its pace, so we don’t play catch-ups or get left far behind. We must disrupt the way we do things and bring to bear professionalism, innovations that will solve indigenous problems but have a global impact,” the DG urged.

While taking turns to share their ideas and challenges, some of the representatives touched on diverse areas of concern and specialisations, including soliciting for government support in the development of hardware space, funding, talents, procurements, local content enforcement, mitigating gateways, policy timings and changes, data protection and management, digital skills framework, standardisation and others.

Reacting to their comments and questions, the Director-General extensively explained the efforts of NITDA under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and by extension, the Federal Government in addressing most of the issues deliberated.

The Start-up Bill was also on the front burner of his response as the DG quickly reminded them that most of the concerns raised would soon be rested, given the recent passage of the Bill into law by the National Assembly.

He assured the startups of a speedy and effective implementation of the bill to deal with the bottlenecks experienced in the process, and fast-track the anticipated growth of the ecosystem.

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Moreso, Inuwa highlighted the Code of Practice for Interactive Platforms as another document that is expected to engender appropriate monitoring to enforce compliance to established regulations guiding the sector, while seeking their contribution to the document.

“We need to decide what and what the right regulations are so that every startup and industry player would have a Code of Practice that works for everyone and is adhered to the letter. Also, I think we need to form a union for Startup Ecosystem,” Inuwa added.

The engagement with the Lagos ecosystem ended with a resolve by all parties to forge ahead against all odds but not just as an ecosystem but more united and prepared for future tasks.

The meeting was part of NITDA’s stride towards making Nigeria a talent hub for Africa and possibly the digital world, especially as there are several reports indicating a global talent shortage.

 

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Fintech

UMBA, US-Based Fintech Acquires Majority Stake In Kenya’s Daraja Microfinance Bank

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced the acquisition of 66.06 per cent shareholding of Daraja Microfinance Bank (Daraja MFB) by US-based fintech company UMBA.

The announcement follows CBK’s earlier approval, under Section 19(4) of the Microfinance Act and approval by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning, pursuant to Section 19(3)(b) of the Microfinance Act.

UMBA fintech is incorporated in the State of Delaware, United States of America and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. The company has operations in Kenya and Nigeria.

In Kenya, UMBA operates a non-deposit-taking credit business through its subsidiary UMBA Technology. In Nigeria, it operates in partnership with a licensed bank to offer digital banking services.

Daraja MFB was granted a license by the Central Bank of Kenya on January 12, 2015, to carry out community microfinance bank business within Dagoretti Division of Nairobi County.

The MFB’s Head Office and branch are located at Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi. The MFB’s target market is Micro and Small Enterprises. It is categorised as a small microfinance bank with a market share of below 1 percent of the microfinance banking sector as of March 31, 2022.

Analysts say the investment by UMBA will strengthen Daraja MFB’s business model. In particular, it will support the digitalization of Daraja MFB as it moves to provide ‘anytime anywhere’ services to its customers.

This is aligned with CBK’s vision of a microfinance banking sector that works for and with Kenyans.

CBK welcomes this transaction which is a critical component of Daraja MFB’s transformation plan. It will strengthen Daraja MFB and support the stability of Kenya’s microfinance banking sector.

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